I should have better luck with women.
People tell me I'm handsome, charming, and funny. I look like the boy next door, can easily take command of a room, and know how to leave everyone in stitches.
But I've always attracted the wrong kind of women.
At 14, my first girlfriend threatened to kill herself . . . with a spoon. The next one never said much other than hello and goodbye, until one day she just said goodbye. Another girl wanted an open relationship . . . until I started dating other women, at which point she suddenly preferred commitment.
What could I do to improve my chances of recruiting Ms. Right? After all, long-term relationships are a rarity. Heading into Valentine's Day weekend, I thought about what I could do to find better candidates. Then it hit me: Dating is like going on a job interview, so what I need is a "relationship resume."
Such a resume could chronicle romantic history, everything from previous accomplishments to personal specialties. I would use the resume as a marketing tool to present my credentials, the goal being romantic recruitment and retention.
By bringing a relationship resume on a date, men and women alike could size each other up with corporate efficiency. Here are five tips for compiling one.
State your objective. Are you looking for a bi-monthly date? Some kind of on-again, off-again, now-we're-engaged-because-that-will-fix-all-of-our-problems lunacy? Or maybe you want something, um, real?
Identify your previous triumphs. A woman could put down: "Sat through three WrestleManias with boyfriend and rowdy, intoxicated friends, without once threatening to call the police." A guy might venture: "Attended dinner gathering at Applebee's with girlfriend and 11 of her shrieking BFFs without succumbing to a panic attack."
Identify the responsibilities you would take on, such as remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and the name of the movie you saw on a first date.
Acknowledge who broke up with whom -- the equivalent of whether you quit or were fired. But try to avoid offering references, lest you risk being contradicted.
Keep it recent. No one, least of all your date, wants to hear about someone you held hands with for 20 minutes in the second grade. Back then, you wanted different things. She wanted to drink Yoo-Hoo and you wanted to eat Play-Doh.
The competition among singles to become couples, especially this time of year, demands that we package ourselves just right, especially during this recovery from recession. You might even find love, subject, of course, to regular performance reviews.
Michael Brody is the author of the new play Survey, a comedy-drama based on his own romantic missteps, which was recently performed at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center.